Posts Tagged ‘16:27’

Recent Topics on Gordon’s Blog

Friday, September 19th, 2008

For Current Agricultural Information from the UD Kent Co. Extension Office Visit

Recent Topics:

● Grain Prices Drop, Grain Prices Recover but Not Fully
● Fall P and K Applications
● Some Good Dryland Corn Yields
● Crop Revenue Coverage for Wheat
● Crop Insurance Deadlines for Small Grains
● Women in Dairy Conference in PA
● Crop Insurance Workshops Coming Up
● Poultry – Brooding Management
● Surfactants and Corn Ear Damage
● Soil Sampling Season
● Current Podworm Situation
● USDA Grain Report
● Corn Yields, Corn Moisture, Corn Harvest Losses
● Sweet Potato Harvest, Curing and Storage

Fall Control of Perennial Weeds

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Fall is the most practical time to treat perennial weeds because it is the time that plants can move the herbicide to the roots where it will do the most good. When considering fall weed control the emphasis should be on what the patch of weeds will look like next spring or summer not the amount of dead stems this fall. In addition, it is important to consider that a fall application will not eradicate a stand of perennial weeds; rather, the fall application will reduce the stand size or the stand vigor the next year. Fall application of glyphosate is the most flexible treatment for most perennial weeds such as artichoke, bermudagrass, Canada thistle, common milkweed, common pokeweed, dock, hemp dogbane, horsenettle and johnsongrass. Banvel at 2 to 4 pints is also labeled for artichoke, bindweeds, dock, hemp dogbane, horsenettle, milkweeds, pokeweed, or Canada thistle. (Planting small grains must be delayed after Banvel application – 20 days per pint of Banvel applied.)

Fall herbicide applications should be made to actively growing plants. Allow plants to recover after harvest before treating them. Allow 10 days after treatment before disturbing the treated plants. Consider the options of spot treating in a standing crop; keeping the combine header as high as possible so the weeds are quicker to recover; or combining around the weed patches and then spraying those patches immediately after harvesting. Weed species differ in their sensitivity to frost; some are easily killed by frost (i.e. horsenettle) others can withstand relatively heavy frosts. Check the weeds prior to application to be sure they are actively growing.

Fall Weed Scouting

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Fall is an important time to take stock of how effective your weed programs were this year. Success in improving or modifying your weed management program for next season is going to depend on your knowledge of weeds in that field. This fall, when it is fresh in your mind, take note of which weeds were present in the field, how heavy the infestation was, and where those patches were located. Taking notes as you are combining may be the best time to locate these weeds. Also, note size of the weeds. If the weeds are small and did most of their growing after the crop began to dry down, they will not impact yield and they will not produce many seeds that can plague you next year. These weeds were either suppressed by your herbicide program or emerged after your herbicides had been played out. These weeds are of little consequence. On the other hand, note those weeds that are large and competed with the crop all season.

Here are things to consider if a field was weedy at harvest. First, if a weed was not controlled review the label and extension information to be sure that the weed species is supposed to be controlled by the herbicide(s) you used. If the herbicides you used are not effective then you may need to switch or include another herbicide in your program. Also, with all the lack of rain at times this season, poor herbicide performance from your residual herbicides was probably due to the herbicide not being moved into the soil (“not activated”). Finally, if the weed was supposed to be controlled by your program, and the herbicide was a triazine or an ALS-inhibiting herbicide see your county extension agent to discuss the potential of herbicide-resistant weeds. ALS-inhibiting herbicides include Accent, Steadfast, Exceed, Permit, Sceptor, Pursuit, or Harmony GT etc. Finally, with glyphosate, new reports of glyphosate-resistance have shown up in other areas of the US, but if more than one species was not controlled in your field, it is less likely to be a resistance problem.

If perennials are a problem, scouting gives you a chance to locate the patches and identify areas to spot-spray with a post-harvest treatment. In addition, you can plan for next season to help determine if a spot-treatment is appropriate or if the perennials are wide-spread and you need to treat the entire field.

Soil Sampling Tips

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Gordon Johnson, Extension Ag Agent, Kent Co.;

Fall is the time of year that most soil samples are taken and soil test results are only as good as the sample that was taken. The following are some reminders for taking good soil samples.

● Use a soil coring tool (soil sampling probe). Always use a soil probe designed for soil sampling. Insert the probe into the ground straight (upright and perpendicular to the soil) and not at an angle. Start with clean plastic buckets and clean soil probes (avoid contamination). Thoroughly discard the portion of soil that is not used for the composite sample between each sampling.

● Take soil samples from a uniform depth. Standard soil tests have been calibrated at the depth of the plow layer (6-8 inches), no shallower and no deeper. A 7 inch depth should be targeted. Cores taken from varying depths will give more variable results. Cores that are too shallow will skew results toward higher soil nutrient levels. Too shallow of sampling is often an issue in dry, hard soils. Cores that are too deep will give lower nutrient levels. Avoid excess surface organic materials in the core. Discard any cores that you cannot take from the proper depth. Discard any cores that appear unusual in any way. If the core cannot be extracted intact, discard it.

● In no-till you should take a standard 7″ depth sample. You may also want to take a separate 2″ depth sample to check for pH depression on the surface.

● Ideally, a core should be taken no less than one every acre. Ideally, a minimum of 20 cores should be taken and composited for a sample. This will reduce the effects of an errant core (however, more than 30 is generally overkill). When you mix the cores to form the samples, make sure that you have mixed them well before you take the subsample to send to the lab. All clods or core pieces need to be broken up. The most common mistake in soil sampling is not mixing cores adequately.

● Ideally, large fields should be divided up so that a sample represents no more than 20 acre units. So for a 100 acre field, you should have 5 samples, each composited from 20 or more cores. This is especially critical in fields that have high variability. Very uniform fields can be sampled in larger acreage increments (but no more than 40 acres).

● The sampling pattern in a field area being sampled should be representative of the site. You cannot just walk diagonal across a field. Each soil sample should represent only one soil type or soil condition. Different soil types within a field should be sampled separately and areas treated differently should be sampled separately (areas where different crops were planted, areas where different varieties were grown with widely different yields, different planting dates, different fertilization, etc.).

● If fertilizer has been banded in a field, samples should stay off of the band if at all possible. If the band is not known, than plan to take extra cores. This also applies where plastic mulched beds were used for vegetable production.

● Avoid any features in a field that might skew the test results. Examples would be areas where spoil was spread, old roads or fence lines, areas where buildings stood, wet pockets, or poultry manure stockpile areas. Do not take cores from these areas for the field composite. If you are interested in the fertility of these areas, take separate samples.

● Intensive grid sampling is used for variable rate fertilizer and lime applications. For grid sampling large fields, sample 2.5 acre units with 5 or more cores from each unit forming the sample. For smaller fields that are grid sampled, use 1 acre units.

● Take samples at least once every crop rotation cycle with a minimum of once every 3 years. In a corn-wheat-soybean rotation or corn-soybean rotation, take samples once every 2 years. Consider yearly sampling in rotations that vary considerably, where vegetables are included, or where other high value crops (fruits, nursery, specialty crops, etc) are being grown. Yearly samples are also appropriate for intensively managed cropping systems and high yielding irrigated production. Perennial hay and pasture fields should be sampled at least once every 3 years.

● Target soil sampling at the same time of year each time you take the sample and at the same point of time in the crop rotation (for example, every 2 years after corn and before wheat in a corn-wheat-soybean rotation). Time of year is not as important as being consistent in when you take the sample. Late summer or fall, after crop harvest, is an ideal time to take samples for practical reasons.

Small Grains Crop Insurance Deadline for Delaware is September 30

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

The Raleigh Regional office, USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), reminds Delaware small grains producers that September 30, 2008 is the final date for those not currently insured to apply for crop insurance on wheat or barley. Current policyholders likewise have until September 30 to make any changes to their policies. Price elections for 2009 are as follows:
● $6.50 per bushel for wheat
● $4.60 per bushel for barley

Wheat insureds may also choose among several plans of coverage, including Crop Revenue Coverage (CRC), Group Risk Plan (GRP), and Group Risk Income Protection (GRIP). CRC offers protection against a decline in market price while GRP and GRIP offer a lowered-cost coverage based on a county-wide average yield. For more information, log onto the RMA Web site at or contact a local crop insurance agent as soon as possible. A list of agents is maintained at the local USDA Farm Service Agency office and on the RMA Web site at

Grain Marketing Highlights

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

Commodities Rebound on Higher Oil Prices – Weaker Dollar
To say that the past week was on the hectic side for commodity markets would be the under statement of the year. Nevertheless, amidst the liquidity problems the financial district is experiencing, the commodity markets have managed to rebound in Wednesday’s day and overnight trade from a major decline experienced on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The U.S. dollar index, that was strengthening through the beginning of the week, has now backed off from recent highs by two points, currently at 78.09. Besides the uncertainty impacting the markets from hurricanes Gustav and Ike, heavy noncommercial liquidation is said to have subsided allowing commercial buying to rally the market. Other uncertainty that will play into trader activity over the near term will be deciphering the actual size of the 2008 U.S. corn and soybean crop, additional financial news stemming from Wall Street, and crude oil prices (currently $10.00 per barrel higher than the Tuesday’s low of $90.00 per barrel).

The weekly export sales report released this morning was bearish for corn, neutral for soybeans, and bullish for wheat. Corn and soybean sales were behind the amounts needed to keep pace with USDA projections after completing one week of the new marketing year that began September 1. Wheat exports, having completed the 14th week of the marketing year, are currently ahead of the pace needed to meet USDA projections. Commodity traders will be keenly interested in the pace of U.S. export sales in the weeks ahead. The interest lies within keeping tabs on world demand and how well demand keeps pace with projections in light of the extreme volatility from outside sources (currency exchange values, energy prices, etc.).

Marketing Strategy
It is going to take some time before all of the repercussions from the financial crisis and the resulting impacts upon commodity prices are known. It could be that the commodity markets can weather this storm better than the stock market in the near term. The reason being that the Dow could yield a 50%(+) retracement from the 14,190 level before things begin to improve. Currently, Dec ’08 corn futures are trading at $5.44; Nov ’08 soybean futures at $11.38; with Dec ’08 SRW wheat futures at $7.20 per bushel.

For technical assistance on making grain marketing decisions contact Carl L. German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist.

Editor’s Note: The Weekly Crop Update is ending for the season but Carl German writes his Grain Marketing Highlights year-round and you can receive them by email. Contact Carl at to be placed on the distribution list.

Fall Weed Control in Pastures and Hay

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Quintin Johnson, Extension Associate – Weed Science;

Fall provides an excellent opportunity for perennial weed management with herbicide applications. Most herbicides labeled for use in pasture are translocated, or moved to various parts of the plant. As fall approaches, perennial weeds like curly dock, Canada thistle, horsenettle, pokeweed, and others are beginning to replenish stored carbohydrates in root structures to prepare for over-wintering and new spring growth. Translocated herbicides are able to reach the rooting structures more efficiently during this period, thus providing more effective perennial weed control. However, if weeds are drought-stressed, herbicide translocation may be slower or incomplete, resulting in less effective control. Delay herbicide applications until after you receive adequate rainfall. Fall applications should be made at least 7 to 10 days before a mowing for greatest effectiveness. In well established perennial weed populations, multiple years of good weed control will be needed to reduce significantly the rootstock of perennial weeds.

There are several things that must be considered when choosing an herbicide for pastures or hay fields including: forage species grown; weed species present; risk of herbicide contact with desirable plants through root uptake, drift, or volatility; residues in composted straw or manure; herbicide rotational, over-seeding, grazing, or harvest restrictions; and cost. Consult your local cooperative extension agent or industry representative for help with these considerations, and be sure to follow all precautions and restrictions on herbicide labels.

The “Pasture and Hay Weed Management Guide” for Delaware is available from University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. Contact your local county agent for a printed copy, or access a pdf version on-line at

Milestone Does Not Have a Fit in Most Pasture Situations

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Milestone (aminopyralid) is a relatively new herbicide for pastures and CRP that provides good to excellent control of many broadleaf weeds (including thistles). It has other positives as well that makes it a very tempting choice for grass pastures. However, the herbicide does not break down in the plants, or in the digestive tract of the animals, nor during the composting process. Therefore, manure from animals fed with treated hay or grazed in the treated pastures, can contain some of the active herbicide. In addition, if this manure is applied to fields or gardens with sensitive plants, they can be severely injured or killed. Broadleaf plants (especially legumes) are most prone to injury.

The following is from the Milestone label:

Do not use Milestone-treated plant residues, including hay or straw from treated areas, or manure from animals that have grazed forage or eaten hay harvested from treated areas within the previous 3 days, in compost or mulch that will be applied to areas where commercially grown mushrooms or susceptible broadleaf plants may be grown.

Do not spread manure from animals that have grazed or consumed forage or eaten hay from treated areas within the previous 3 days on land used for growing susceptible broadleaf crops.

Manure from animals that have grazed forage or eaten hay harvested from Milestone-treated areas within the previous 3 days may only be used on pasture grasses, grass grown for seed, and wheat.

Do not plant a broadleaf crop in fields treated in the previous year with manure from animals that have grazed forage or eaten hay harvested from Milestone-treated areas until an adequately sensitive field bioassay is conducted to determine that the Milestone concentration in the soil is at level that is not injurious to the crop to be planted.

Milestone is better suited in our region for use with CRP where the grasses are not harvested or grazed. Since manure management is essential to protect sensitive plants, it has no fit in pastures or hay crops in our area.

Fall Herbicide Treatments for Next Year’s No-Till

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Fall herbicide treatments have been discussed as options for no-till crops. The idea is to apply an herbicide this fall that will control existing weeds and possibly provide residual weed control so that fields do not have lots of vegetation next spring. Less vegetation in the spring allows the soil to warm up faster and conserve moisture. This practice has worked in many of the Midwest states, but their winters are colder and often with more snow cover. We have looked at various herbicides the past few years for no-till soybeans. Products tested include Valor, Canopy EX, and Express. In our trials the fall treatments were applied with 2,4-D plus Gramoxone or glyphosate. Applications were made in late October to mid-November, after weeds have emerged. Most of the products provided some control when evaluated in March. The remaining weeds were small and less vigorous. However, as the spring progressed Valor and Express became much less effective, as well as allowed for spring germination of many species. Those plants that were present were large by early May. As a result, non-selective herbicide was needed before soybean planting. However, fall treatments helped to conserve spring moisture and provided for a better soybean stand when rainfall was limited. In 2006 and 2007, Canopy EX applied in the fall with Gramoxone or glyphosate provided excellent weed control up to the time of soybean planting (including horseweed). Canopy EX restricts your rotation to allow only soybeans the following spring.

Fall treatments should be applied while the plants are still actively growing. If you are considering a fall herbicide program, be sure to consider all pros and cons, including resistance management.

Volunteer Rye Cannot Be Controlled in Small Grains

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

There have been a considerable number of fields with rye-strips planted for vegetables in some areas, and these fields are very convenient to plant small grains in the fall. However, keep in mind that there is no herbicide available to control volunteer rye in wheat or barley. There are a few herbicides that will control or suppress Italian (or annual) ryegrass in these crops, but they will not control grain rye used for wind breaks. Therefore, if the windbreaks were allowed to produce seed this year, you can expect the rye to act as a competitive weed in your small grains. Rye seeds generally germinate the same year they are produced, so it is not a long-term problem. However, it can be an issue if you planted rye strips last fall and then plant small grains this fall.